Palo Alto headquartered, low cost tablet maker, Swipe Telecom has raised Rs 30 cr in funding from Bangalore based early stage investor Kalaari Capital.
Swipe will use the funding for sales expansion across India and for research towards new products.
Swipe offers a range of 23 tablets which include those aimed at children on an Android platform. It also customises and develops products for enterprises, educational institutions and banks. The tablets pricing range between Rs 4,000 – Rs 15,000 .
Swipe’s Indian competitor and which owns the second largest share in the Indian tablet market, Micromax, had raised funding from Sequoia and Sandstone Capital in 2010.
Swipe was founded by Shripal Gandhi, a former Apple and Samsung employee who decided to make affordable tablets for India. Shripal who is also a graduate in Nanotechnology from the University of California, started swipe in July 2012.
Aakash & OLPC – Other Low Cost Initiatives in India
So far, India has seen little success with its low cost and affordable tech ventures. Although people like low cost, people don’t like it when its very low on quality.
Aakash was an initiative by the GoI which had seen obstacles a few months after take off. Problems included failure and enormous delays in shipping the targeted number of units, technical problems in units that were shipped, as well as controversy over cheap imports from China.
Another initiative which sought to provide low-cost affordable was the OLPC, or the One Laptop Per Child Initiative that took off in 2008 for under-privileged children. This initiative too met with a lukewarm response.
Swipe seems to have fared better if its claims of gaining 7% of the tablet market share in India are anything to go by.
The tablet market in India is soaring. According to the IDC, tablet sales in India in 2013 grew over 55% from the previous year, standing at 4.14 million units. Market leaders in the space according to the IDC are Samsung, Micromax and Apple.